Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hrithik Roshan- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan starrer, Guzaarish, bowled the critics over. But according to tradesmiths, the film’s high price will make it another biggie that failed to deliver.
"Friday started with 25 per cent occupancy. Following rave reviews, the collections were up to 40 per cent on Saturday and 65 per cent on Sunday, but it failed to sustain," observes Ashish Saxena, CEO, Big Cinemas. "After an average of 50 per cent over the first three days, Monday saw an obvious drop that doesn’t bode well for such an expensive movie."
Pegging the first three days’ earnings at `13 crore (`3 crore on Friday, `4 crore on Saturday and `6 crore on Sunday), trade veteran Amod Mehra endorses Saxena’s views: "It is a poor opening for a `80 crore film. Guzaarish is as big a disaster as Kites and Raavan. The only difference is that Kites got off to a pretty good start."
Delhi-based distributor Sanjay Mehta sighs over the opening, saying that the film will gross at the most `30 crore from across India, `5 crore from overseas and `10 crore from satellite rights. "Still, Guzaarish will suffer a loss of at least `30 crore. Sadly for Hrithik, it’s his second big flop after Kites," adds Mehta.
According to an industry veteran, Bhansali took `27 crore, Hrithik was paid `15 crore and Aishwarya `5 crore. Around `15 crore was spent on prints and publicity and another `20 crore on production.
The official spokesman for UTV Motion Pictures, which financed and co-produced the film with Bhansali, however pegs the production cost at `50 crore, with an additional `10 crore for prints and publicity: “We have pocketed `25 crore from the sale of music and satellite rights already and are expecting the film to do good business over the week.”
Interestingly, no producer has worked with Bhansali a second time even after hits like Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas and Black. Though UTV has another co-production with Bhansali, My Friend Pinto, featuring Prateik Babbar. But they have only `10 crore at stake on this film.